(Photo by © Netflix)
20 Things To Watch If You Loved Tiger King
If you’re still posting memes and reading everything you can about Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin, and the colorful characters of the quarantine mega-hit Tiger King, you might be looking for your next off-the-rails true-crime fix. Not much can match the wild episodic documentary series following America’s eccentric “big cat” owners, but this list should scratch your itch for more mayhem.
If you’re looking for more twists you won’t see coming – which you got in basically every episode of Tiger King – we have the documentaries Tickled and Evil Genius for you. At first glance, Tickled looks to be a curious documentary about “competitive tickling,” while Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist seems like a clever whodunnit investigation of a bizarre bank robbery/murder. In both cases, though, you will be shocked on multiple occasions before the credits roll – these movies are not what you think.
Netflix’s Don’t F**k With Cats and HBO’s I Love You, Now Die have a similar vibe to Tiger King, in some ways, but the stories are more somber and even more disturbing. If it’s the unbelievable true-crime aspect of the doc that had you hooked, also check out Conversations With a Killer, or Voyeur.
We didn’t limit our picks to docs: narrative films with big plot twists can also fill your Tiger King void. If by chance you haven’t seen or read anything about Sunshine, Cabin in the Woods, or Moon, these three sci-fi/horror movies go places you won’t expect and provide the juicy shock value you’re looking for. Trust us and please don’t read anything before you see them – it’s worth it.
If you are looking for more bizarre/non-traditional love stories, check out the documentary Crazy Love, ’80s rom-com Maude + Micki, HBO’s 2000s polygamy drama Big Love, or the criminally underrated Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. Meanwhile, the Johnny Knoxville-produced documentary The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia is not about romance, but it does center on a family (“The Whites”) that would feel right at home with Joe Exotic and this cavalcade of eccentric friends. It’s a unique insight into an oft-overlooked part of America and avoids caricature. (And the music is great.)
Big Cat Rescue owner Carole Baskin was none too pleased with her portrayal on Tiger King. A vocal critic of the private ownership of big cats, Baskin assumed she was participating in an exposé documentary like the Oscar-nominated Blackfish, which focused on a killer whale at SeaWorld and the question of whether such creatures should be held in captivity. If you felt Tiger King should have dived a bit deeper into the animal abuse aspect of its story, Blackfish would be the one to check out along with The Cove, which documents dolphin hunting in Japan. Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man is another animal-focused doc to add to your queue – it’s not about abuse but centers on an eccentric animal enthusiast.
Speaking of eccentricity… There are plenty of compelling documentaries and features about cult-like leaders who attract bands of loyal followers. If you’re looking for more stories like that, with insights into the appeal of certain personalities, try Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Believe, Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic feature The Master (partly inspired by Scientology’s founder), and The Queen of Versailles (the less we tell you, the better).
For now, though, devote yourselves to this guide and check out 20 films and shows we think Tiger King fans will love.
Adjusted Score: 100029%
Critics Consensus: Tickled uses an investigation into a silly-seeming subculture as the launching point for thought-provoking insights into online bullying and the destructive abilities of the internet.
A journalist intends to document an international tickling competition for kicks. Instead, he finds a bizarre and even threatening world... [More]
Adjusted Score: 81436%
Critics Consensus: Evil Genius makes up for a lack of conviction and nuance with an intriguing sense of discovery and plenty of entertaining insanity.
Adjusted Score: 94064%
Critics Consensus: Smart and solidly engrossing, The Master extends Paul Thomas Anderson's winning streak of challenging films for serious audiences.
Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is a troubled, boozy drifter struggling with the trauma of World War II and whatever inner... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102553%
Critics Consensus: Blackfish is an aggressive, impassioned documentary that will change the way you look at performance killer whales.
The story of Tilikum, a captive killer whale that has taken the lives of several people, underscores problems within the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97018%
Critics Consensus: Whatever opinion you come to have of the obsessive Treadwell, Herzog has once again found a fascinating subject.
Pieced together from Timothy Treadwell's actual video footage, Werner Herzog's remarkable documentary examines the calling that drove Treadwell to live... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98713%
Critics Consensus: Director Erin Lee Carr expertly blends journalistic edge and empathy in I Love You, Now Die to create a concise, compelling, and refreshingly exploitation-free exploration of a complicated crime.
Adjusted Score: 99152%
Critics Consensus: The Queen of Versailles is a timely, engaging, and richly drawn portrait of the American Dream improbably composed of equal parts compassion and schadenfreude.
The 2008 global economic crisis threatens the fortune of Florida billionaires David and Jackie Siegel just as they are in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99568%
Critics Consensus: Though decidedly one-sided, The Cove is an impeccably crafted, suspenseful expose of the covert slaughter of dolphins in Japan.
In Taiji, Japan, local fishermen hide a gruesome secret: the capture and slaughter of dolphins. Activist Ric O'Barry, who trained... [More]
Adjusted Score: 53791%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
When television reporter Rob (Dudley Moore) feels stuck in his marriage to Micki (Ann Reinking), he falls for Maude (Amy... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97872%
Critics Consensus: Thoroughly disquieting but impossible to ignore, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is a searing investigative work from a master documentarian.
Filmmaker Alex Gibney interviews former members of the Church of Scientology and reveals abuses and strange practices within the controversial... [More]
Adjusted Score: 75129%
Critics Consensus: It has a bawdy premise, but Big Love presents a sympathetic view of a complex family relationship.
Adjusted Score: 97163%
Critics Consensus: Boosted by Sam Rockwell's intense performance, Moon is a compelling work of science-fiction, and a promising debut from director Duncan Jones.
Astronaut Sam Bell's (Sam Rockwell) three-year shift at a lunar mine is finally coming to an end, and he's looking... [More]
Adjusted Score: 82127%
Critics Consensus: Danny Boyle continues his descent into mind-twisting sci-fi madness, taking us along for the ride. Sunshine fulfills the dual requisite necessary to become classic sci-fi: dazzling visuals with intelligent action.
In the not-too-distant future, Earth's dying sun spells the end for humanity. In a last-ditch effort to save the planet,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 57339%
Critics Consensus: Laced with troubling irony, Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes skirts introspection, making it just as elusive as its subject.
Adjusted Score: 81753%
Critics Consensus: Crazy Love's subjects and story are so compelling that they overcome the doc's dry, talking heads format.
Filmmaker Dan Klores examines the strange love affair of Burt Pugach and Linda Riss. Pugach is a successful attorney in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99199%
Critics Consensus: Professor Marston & The Wonder Women winds a lasso of cinematic truth around a fascinating fact-based tale with strong performances from its three stars.
If behind every great man is a great woman, then Harvard psychologist and inventor Dr. William Moulton Marston has the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 35766%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
A documentary by director Julien Nitzberg, this film focuses on the renowned West Virginia outlaw Jesco White and his eccentric... [More]
Adjusted Score: 69216%
Critics Consensus: Don't F**k With Cats offers an intriguing tale, but questionable intent and muddled storytelling make it a hard sell for anyone but true crime completists.
Adjusted Score: 103513%
Critics Consensus: The Cabin in the Woods is an astonishing meta-feat, capable of being funny, strange, and scary -- frequently all at the same time.
When five college friends (Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams) arrive at a remote forest cabin... [More]
Adjusted Score: 80104%
Critics Consensus: Absorbing, unpredictable, and overall compelling, Voyeur is a singularly unusual -- and utterly memorable -- documentary experience.
Gay Talese investigates Gerald Foos, a Colorado motel owner who spies on his guests. Using a carefully constructed platform in... [More]